Bangladesh: World Bank Increases Support for Clean, Renewable Energy

Bangladesh has secured two loans totaling $505m from the World Bank to expand its overall power transmission network and to bring clean renewable energy to rural areas.

The first loan of $450m will be for enhancement and bolstering of the Asian country’s power transmission system in its eastern region. The related project will boost the reliability of power supply and bring down load shedding in areas like greater Cumilla and Noakhali and also part of greater Chittagong.

The loan will also help in the government in providing new electricity connections to nearly 275,000 households and 16,000 agricultural consumers.

As part of the project, 13 new substations will be built and an existing substation will be rehabilitated in the eastern part of Bangladesh. The outcome of these measures will facilitate integration of renewable energy and new power generations into the grid, said World Bank.

According to the organization, the project will also see construction of a 230kV transmission line through greater Cumilla along with four short distance 132kV lines in Cumilla and Noakhali areas.

World Bank Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal country director Qimiao Fan said: “In recent years, Bangladesh has significantly increased power generation. That significantly increased power generation requires improvement and expansion of the transmission and distribution system to get to consumers.

“By supplying uninterrupted power to the Mirsharai Economic Zone, port, airport or other key economic facilities, the project will help unlock private sector and job growth.”

The other loan of $55m to Bangladesh from the World Bank will be for increasing use of clean renewable energy across rural regions of the country where grid electricity is difficult to reach.

It will be an additional financing to the country’s Second Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development (RERED II) Project under which 1,000 solar irrigation pumps, 30 solar mini-grids, and nearly 4 million improved cookstoves are planned to be installed in rural areas.

About 10 million people living in remote villages, islands and shoals are expected to benefit from the additional financing by getting access to renewable energy, thereby helping Bangladesh in offsetting carbon emissions.